Every article, post, and doctor tells you not to compare babies. Of course, it’s inevitable as conversations constantly find their way back to whose baby is doing what. Everything from rolling over to starting solids and walking is analyzed to figure out if your baby is behind.
Developmental milestones are there to both assure and terrify us despite the afterthought that all babies develop at their own rate.
With twins it is nigh impossible to avoid making comparisons, and especially with identical twins. I have yet to meet parents who say that their twins share an exact personality. Beyond gender differences, one twin may favour musical instruments while the other loves to kick balls. One may love to read, the other to build. Sure, the DNA is the same but their personality makes them special.
It’s extra hard to avoid making comparisons when one twin is so far behind the other.
Today we were back at Sunnybrook for a follow-up appointment from our NICU stay. There, they told me Raegan was perfect; meeting and exceeding her developmental milestones. Then, there was Ella.
Every time we have a doctor’s appointment, I want to preempt the discussion by saying, “Now, you should know that Ella is super giggly and loves being flown through the air. She babbles and loves to cuddle.” I want to say this because doctors, well, are doctors. They see everything that is wrong.
Today, our doctor said simply that I must know Ella is behind comparatively to her sister. And of course I do. I’m with them all day. I see Raegan getting ready to crawl and watch as she devours food sitting perfectly in her booster chair. And I see Ella, laying in one spot, batting at her toys with a closed fist.
But, I don’t want my girls to just be milestones. I want their personalities to shine. I want people to see that sometimes Raegan is crabby but that she smiles with giant dimples. And I don’t want you to see Ella as behind, but rather as a chubby cheeked six month old who giggles when you take her out of her sleeper because it tickles.
I know the comparisons will always be there. It’s inevitable with twins. I know that I will continue to compare them both in my own mind and again for the doctors. Still, it doesn’t make it easier to see the differences, to suspect what’s coming.
But I know, that comparatively or not, our girls are pretty darn cute.